NU Online News Service, Aug. 5, 2004, 6:38 p.m. EDT

Health profits were up but benefits profits were down during the second quarter at Assurant Inc., New York.[@@]

Assurant, a company that incorporates the old U.S. insurance operations of Fortis, Brussels, is reporting $95 million in net income for the latest quarter on $1.8 billion in revenue, up from $91 million in net income on $1.7 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2003.

Operating income at the Milwaukee-based health unit rose to $40 million, from $30 million, because of strong sales of health savings account plans and other individual health insurance products.

Operating income at the Kansas City, Mo.-based benefits unit fell to $14 million, from $18 million. Assurant is attributing the decrease partly to efforts to take a tougher approach to renewal pricing in the dental and group life markets.